Build a Starter Website with Gatsby and Contentstack

Gatsby is a framework to build static websites. This Gatsby starter website guide will help you to build a website using Gatsby and power its content from Contentstack.

The contentstack-gatsby plugin will ease the process of storing and delivering content to the Gatsby starter website from Contentstack.




  • Contentstack account
  • Node.js version 14 or above
  • Gatsby CLI: npm install -g gatsby-cli
  • Contentstack CLI: npm install -g @contentstack/cli
  • Enable Live Preview for your organization
  • Management token with read permission

Note: For this tutorial, we have assumed that you are familiar with Contentstack and Gatsby. If not, please refer to the Contentstack docs and Gatsby docs for more details.

Set Up Your App

Here is an overview of the steps involved in setting up the Gatsby starter app:

  1. Set the Region
  2. Login to your Account
  3. Import Content
  4. Create Delivery Token
  5. Build and Configure the Website
  6. Deploy the Website
  1. Set the Region

    Note: By default, the CLI uses the North America endpoint. Configuration changes are not required for North American region users.

    To use the European or Azure North American endpoint, run the following command in your terminal (command prompt):

    csdx config:set:region <<region>> 

    Note: For European users set region as EU.
    Azure North American users set region as AZURE-NA.

  2. Login to your Account

    To import content to your stack, first, you’ll need to log in to your Contentstack account via CLI by running the following command in your terminal:

    csdx auth:login

    This command will ask you to provide your Contentstack’s account credentials (email and password)

  3. Import Content

    The ‘seed’ command lets you import content to your stack in a few steps. To do so, run the following command in your terminal:

    csdx cm:seed -r "contentstack/stack-starter-app"

    This command will prompt the following options as follows:

    • Organization name: You’ll get a list of organizations to which you have access. Select the one from the list where your source stack is located or where you want to create a new stack.
    • Stack preference

      : Next, you need to select your choice to create a new stack:

      • If you select Yes, you’ll receive a list of organizations to which you belong. Then, choose an organization where you are either an owner or admin to create the new stack, and then enter a name for your stack.
      • If you select No, you need to choose the organization where the destination stack exists and select that particular stack where you have the specific permissions for importing content. Refer to the Stack Roles documentation to learn more about permissions.

    Tip: To avoid the chances of any error, we recommend that you select the option of creating a new destination stack. If you choose to import content to an existing stack, ensure that the stack is empty.

    Finally, you’ll get the content imported to your stack.

  4. Create Delivery token

    A delivery token lets you fetch published content of an environment.

    You can create a delivery token for the “development” environment for running the website on localhost. Later, while deploying your site, you can create tokens for other environments.

  5. Build and Configure the Website

    Download the website code.

    Navigate to the root folder, create a configuration file named .env.development, and provide your credentials.

    Note: The below code is for North America region users only. Refer the configuration code for European region and Azure North American region on the regions configuration page.

    CONTENTSTACK_API_KEY = <api_key_of_your_stack>
    CONTENTSTACK_DELIVERY_TOKEN = <delivery_token_of_the_environment>
    CONTENTSTACK_ENVIRONMENT = <environment_name>

    Mandatory configuration parameters to enable Live Preview

    CONTENTSTACK_MANAGEMENT_TOKEN = <management_token_of_the_environment>
    #By default the live preview feature is enabled for this project. To disable it, set "CONTENTSTACK_LIVE_PREVIEW= false".
    #By default live editing tags are disabled for this project. To enable it, set “CONTENTSTACK_LIVE_EDIT_TAGS= true”.

    Note: Make sure your management token has READ permission only.

    Additional Resource: Go to our Live Preview documentation to learn more about the Live Preview feature in Contentstack.

    Fire up your terminal, point it to your project location, and run the following commands:

    npm install
    npm run develop

    That’s it!

    You can now view the website at http://localhost:8000. And you also have the stack that has all the content and resources for the website. Try experimenting by creating new entries and publishing on the “development” environment. You should be able to see the changes on the website at the localhost.

    Set up Live Preview (Optional)

    Note: In order to use Live Preview, your plan must include this feature. Check our pricing page for more details. 

    The next step is to set up and enable live preview for your website. Follow the steps below to set up live preview feature for your website:

    1. Navigate to the Live Preview section in your stack's “Settings”.
    2. Select the Enable Live Preview checkbox.
    3. Now, select a preview environment and preview URL for previewing live content of your website. Finally, Save your settings. 

    This completes your live preview set up. Now, you can deploy the website using Vercel.

  6. Deploy the Website

    You can deploy this Gatsby website on production either using Gatsby Cloud or Vercel platforms.

    Deploy to Gatsby Cloud

    To deploy your website to Gatsby Cloud, you need a Gatsby Cloud account.

    Deploy to Gatsby Cloud

    Deploy to Vercel

    To deploy a Gatsby website on production using Vercel, you need a Vercel account.

    Click on the Vercel button

    Note: While deploying the starter website to Vercel, make sure to enable/ disable the Live Preview environment variable as per your requirement.

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